The New York Times uses this weekend's episode of Cold Case, in which eight Springsteen songs make up the soundtrack, to expound
on the new way for artists, mainstream and indy, to get their music heard by a larger audience. This isn't the case with the Boss, of course, who approved of the script and the episode's director, who had worked with him on a 2002 video.But instead of turning Mr. Springsteen's songs, all originally released from 1980 to 1987, into mere backdrops, Meredith Stiehm, the show's creator andthe writer of this episode, used them to construct and advance the story. Graduation day is narrated by the exultant "No Surrender," while the climactic murder scene is set to the poignant "Atlantic City."
Since the article also mentions Miami Vice as the catalyst for popularizing if not pioneering the use of pop music on TV, let me add that TV Land is beginning this very weekend to rerun episodes, presumably in preparation for next summer's Michael Mann-directed film.
Incidentally, I watched five episodes of Miami Vice from my dad's DVD set over the holidays. I remembered liking it when it was originally on, but it seemed much darker to me in my pre-teen years. There's something there, though, in spite of, or even because of, the borderline dissonant blend of gritty realism, humor that struck me as borderline slapstick, and who can forget the glitz? All this I bring up because Alessandra Stanley takes a look back at the show and its influence on television and pop culture in yesterday's TV Weekend column
, also from the Times. Her thesis? The 80s really were more fun.